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Forces and Laws of Motion Lessons

Covering forces and laws of motion in science class? Try one of these five free lesson plans to help students get hands-on with physics.

Photo collage of four science experiments to explore forces and motion

Teach Forces and Motion with 5 Free experiments

Teaching elementary and middle school students about forces, motion, energy, and Newton's laws is an important part of standards-based science curriculum. At Science Buddies, we know that getting kids hands-on with these concepts can be a powerful way to help them learn scientific concepts and make connections with other science lessons. Pair hands-on learning with engaging maker-inspired building projects like the ones described below, and your students will have fun putting what they learn about forces and motion into action in the classroom and practicing engineering design at the same time.

These five free lesson plans each outline creative science activities that help students explore the forces of motion in tactile ways:

  1. Balloon Car Lesson Plan: design, build, and race balloon-powered cars to experiment with kinetic and potential energy.
  2. Paper Roller Coasters: Kinetic and Potential Energy: design and test paper roller coasters to explore kinetic and potential energy, conservation of energy, and friction.
  3. Push Harder — Newton's Second Law: build cars using craft materials and then use the cars to explore the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration. (Students can use Google's free Science Journal app to record and graph acceleration data as part of the hands-on activity.)
  4. Two-Stage Balloon Rocket: build a multi-stage balloon rocket to investigate the science of space flight and Newton's laws of motion.
  5. Skydive Into Forces: make parachutes from tissue paper and string and experiment with toy skydivers to explore "invisible" forces like gravity and air resistance.

All Lesson Plans at Science Buddies are NGSS-aligned. Teachers can view the associated NGSS performance expectations on the summary page for each lesson. Information is also provided about the aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning addressed by each lesson.

Do More!

For additional resources to explore forces, motion, and related physics, see:

Thematic Collections

Collections like this help educators find themed activities in a specific subject area or discover activities and lessons that meet a curriculum need. We hope these collections make it convenient for teachers to browse related lessons and activities. For other collections, see the Teaching Science Units and Thematic Collections lists. We encourage you to browse the complete STEM Activities for Kids and Lesson Plans areas, too. Filters are available to help you narrow your search.

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